13 Apr 2018

The samurai wasp and the stink bug

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 1:40 pm on 13 April 2018
Brown marmorated stink bug.

Brown marmorated stink bug. Photo: Wikicommons

A tiny samurai wasp could be deployed to combat the brown marmorated stink bug should it arrive on these shores.

The stink bug poses one of the largest risk biosecurity threats to New Zealand.

It feeds on over 300 plant species and can multiply and get to very high population numbers rapidly, destroying crops and gardens and even get into your home.

The wasp does not sting and is harmless to humans but is a natural enemy of the stink bug. The female wasp lays her eggs inside the stink bug's eggs, killing the insect in the process.

Alan Pollard spokesman for the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Council says studies overseas have shown the wasp can destroy over 70 percent of the eggs in a stink bug egg mass.

The Environmental Protection Authority is consulting with the public on the application.

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